August is the time to get up early and stay up late for the best fishing. A siesta during the afternoon is not a bad idea, unless you are dedicated to casting Grasshoppers while looking for that one big fish. Most waters are fishable by sunrise or shortly there after this month, and fishing until itâ€™s to dark to see your fly in the evening is also the norm in August. Morning anglers can look to fish Mayfly patterns, while evening anglers need to be thinking about Caddis and attractors. It seems odd to write about falling water with the fall approaching, but we are still seeing more and more fishable water opening up, and those willing to explore long stretches of any of our rivers just may find some fish and runs that havenâ€™t seen an angler yet this season!
Tricos remain out in force, with the bulk of the Spinner Fall landing about mid-river, although the fish can be found rising from Point of Rocks up to the Stalker and Grove Creek confluence on the Nature Conservancy. Smaller, more precise patterns may be needed to draw strikes, as the fish have seen plenty of flies this season. Be attentive to your Floatant and keep your fly riding nice and high on the surface. This is also important when fishing the Callibaetis in mid to late afternoon. The random storm clouds we have been seeing bring off the Baetis in waves, so keep those patterns handy all the time. In the evening expect a regular smorgasbord of insects to be present and be prepared to see all of the Creeks major insect players. When there are no bugs out, try searching long stretches of water with a Grasshopper fly and stick with it. You may not draw a lot of strikes, but you will bring up the Creeks biggest fish on occasion. Anglers who insist that the Creeks biggest fish wonâ€™t take dry flies, have not put enough time in behind a well placed and well tied hopper pattern! Donâ€™t forget to fish your Hoppers on 1X tippet, leader shy is never an issue once a fish decides it wants to eat a Hopper.
Big Wood River
The Wood is still dropping and changing all the time. Fish can be found rising most mornings and evenings, and a small arsenal of flies may be necessary to find one that they like. Attractor patterns and Hoppers are still working in the afternoons, but the biggest fish that get caught this month will be by anglers that stay out until dark and target the biggest risers they can find. Small Caddis and Rusty Spinners are a good bet to catch these late risers. If you can only fish in the middle of the day, then make sure you are fishing the soft water you find adjacent to the fastest water at the head of the pools. The fish love to spend the afternoon hiding in the whitewater and often in less than a foot of water. Donâ€™t be fooled into believing that big fish go and sulk at the bottom of the deep pools all day, when in fact the opposite is happening and they are going to the shallows to forage, hide and breathe the oxygenated water near the heads of these pools. Anglers with good high sticking and mending skills will find these big fish relatively easy to catch once they have locked on to where they hide during the day! There are very few fish this time of year that sit and do nothing. This is prime time for them and everyday counts for putting on essential winter weight.
It is historically about this exact time of the summer when flows are greatly reduced from the Mackay Dam. We can probably expect these flows to drop slightly later than most years, but it should be happening soon. As of now, there is some fishing to be had, but also some tougher wading. Look for fish feeding on the gravel shelves just above the pools. There can be great sight nymphing opportunities here when the big fish adopt this behavior, which is most of the time on the Lost. Crane Flies, Trico and Baetis are also insects to be ready for as well. Use our web site to keep your eyes on the flows there, and when you see them approach 400 CFS, pack your gear and go!
Upper Lost and Copper Basin
This area is still fishing well up above the North Fork / East Fork confluence all the way to the headwaters. There are many, many miles of fishable water and with the flows continuing to drop, the main lost below the North and East confluences will begin to fish as the end of the month approaches. Grasshoppers are the name of the game up there right now, and attractor patterns fished in size a 14 will also catch plenty of fish. Donâ€™t forget to try for the Copper Basin slam while your up there! We would love to see your pictures of a Rainbow, Brookie, West Slope Cutthroat, Snake River Fine Spotted Cutthroat and a Whitefish all taken on the same day.
South Fork of the Boise
The S.F. of the B has been a drift boaters dream this summer with perfect boating flows all season. It is Hopper time on the South Fork, but donâ€™t forget your Pink Albert patterns as well. If you can, try to hit the river on the weekdays to find some solitude and great fishing.
The fishing on the Main Salmon is in full swing with the Caddis hatch. We work closely with Julie Meissner of Sawtooth Fishing Guides in August and September, to take advantage of this untapped fishery. If you want to do a few nights in Stanley and fish out of a drift boat during the day, give us a call in the Travel office at (208) 726 â€“ 3202. It is a trip well worth taking!